Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Free Motion Challenge Quilting Along Quilt

I just finished participating in the Free Motion Challenge Quilting Along with Angela Walters. It was an interesting experience as most classes are. 

We began by making a quilt from a free pattern. It appeared that I had just a couple of days to make and sandwich the quilt so I rushed trying to make everything fit and ended up losing a couple of corners on one of the yellow blocks. The pattern was free and although it was poorly written and the measurement of the finished block was impossible, it all worked out in the end. Over 10,000 people followed this course but I'm not sure a true beginner would have found much success. Personally, I found Leah Day's teaching style much better for a beginner. For a free-motion quilter with some experience, the instruction was quite sufficient.
Photos were taken outside on a beautiful day!
I tried some new things and learned more about using my quilting rulers just from watching Angela in the videos. And I ended up with a pretty 49" by 56" quilt. I used Dream Cotton batting and quilted this with 50-wt #1135 yellow Aurifil thread.

The hardest part was the DO NOT TEAR OUT ANYTHING part of the challenge. I did adhere to this but it wasn't easy! 

Each block is quilted differently; the white blocks around the yellow blocks are all quilted the same; the sashing and the borders are all quilted the same.

The first block was the meandering (stippling) block. I learned that stippling is small meandering.

The second block used echoing. We echoed the block and made a window pane. The window has diagonals and meandering on the inside.

Block number three was continuous curves.

Then we did a continuous curve flower, by far my worst block and I wasn't supposed to tear it out so I didn't; I just kept going.

Block number five was leafy meandering, a new design for me.

The other block that week was the directional leafy meander

The seventh block was dot-to-dot wedges - this was also a new design for me.

The companion block was a dot-to-dot wedge variation.

The following week, we did block nine, wavy lines. We did some interesting connecting of lines.

Block ten was serpentine lines which was also new to me. For some reason, they were much harder than I thought they'd be. In this photo you can also see the detail in the white block around the yellow. All of the white blocks are quilted the same. You can also see the wishbone detail in the sashing.

A week later began with block eleven - swirls. Her example was similar to jester's hat so that's what I tried. This is my best attempt ever at that design. I think I have a mental block about the jester's hat motif.

We also did the feather meander which is a swirl with feathers following the swirl line. It looks rather flowery and is hard to pick out with all of the texture.

Block thirteen used clam shells which was new to me.

That same week, we did stacked squares.

I thought this block didn't look finished enough with the rest of the quilt so I filled in the blocks. The following photo has the block tilted to the right.


Then came block fifteen - wishbones, another new design.

The last block was wishbones within curved lines.

The sashing and borders in the quilt were all done in wishbones but I changed the corner because I don't like the wishbone corner. I did an off-kilter square that mimicked the yellow squares in the white blocks of the quilt. You might be able to see the corner detail here.


The back of the quilt was a piece from my stash.

The quilt looks like spring! I took the photos outside on this gorgeous spring day. This will be a donation quilt.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Blue Yellow Pink Quilt

I fell in love with the blue fabric one day and bought it. The next problem was finding something to go with it. I quickly found that finding a matching blue was out of the question. I decided the yellow would work although it was a flannel and would eventually caused my sewing machine stress. Thinking the yellow needed something, I added the pink in the middle. I wanted a softer pink but sometimes you just use what you have!


I used Dream Cotton batting on this 43" square quilt. The binding actually matches some dots in the blue fabric.

I free-motion quilted a loop-de-loop motif with 50-wt #1135 yellow Aurifil thread. It gives great texture.

I used a strip of the blue fabric on the back.

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I dropped my Bernina machine off Friday to be overhauled - it is having a number of problems and the dealer can't/won't fix some of them. This is a new guy and I'm hoping to hear from him soon.

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I finished cutting all of the pieces for the log cabin blocks today. Maybe I'll get some sewing done on my trusty Featherweight.

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The blue log cabin blocks have been scraped. The blue scraps will be used in a Vortex quilt with a few pops of color.

It'll probably be in the works for quite a while - I like having a no-thinking quilt to work on every now and then.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Pretty in Pink but not Pretty Weather!

This one might be for a summer baby. We don't know the gender so I made two quilts.The baby boy quilt was shared the other day here. The quilt not used will be donated. 


I used a Moda Jelly Roll called First Romance by Kristyne Czepuryk of Pretty by Hand. I was shopping with a friend a while back and she found it while we were at The Quilt Peddler in Fennimore, WI. It is very feminine and seemed perfect for a baby girl quilt. I decided the name Pretty in Pink was fitting.



The quilt is 45" by 48" and I used Dream Cotton batting. I quilted this with straight lines and a walking foot using 50-wt light pink #2423 Aurifil thread. 



The back is pale pink Minkee and oh, so soft!

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While I was exercising this morning, I was watching the news out of the Quad Cities which is south of us. The weatherman said we would have it all today almost - rain, sleet, snow, wind, thunder, and lightning but we would not have hail. So far we've had everything he predicted and it looks like we'll keep this going until late this evening. It's not pretty!

You can find me quilting - specifically, I'm working on my homework for the Free-motion Challenge Quilting Along. The challenge is almost over - it's time to finish the quilt. I have lots of background quilting and border quilting to do. Then I'll bind it and show it to you.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Something new!

I spent some time in the sewing studio today. I have a quilt that needs the binding sewn down, one that needs the binding sewn onto the quilt, two that need to be quilted and ... but I decided I needed to start something new! So I took the overflowing basket of various size strips and pulled out the blue and whites so I could make some log cabin blocks. I don't really have a plan but you can see that there are a few strips.

While I was pulling out the blue and white strips, I also pulled out some bright strips. I think I'll do traditional log cabin blocks with 1" finished logs. My plan is half bright and half white blocks. I got the idea from Amanda Jean who blogs at crazy mom quilts. If you look through the basket of brights at the design wall, you'll see some blue log cabin blocks. You'll also see some of the bright logs that have been cut.

Here's a close up of those blue blocks. I wanted to try various width logs and no dark/light side of the block. I'm not really sure I like this. I'll leave it up on the wall for a while and decide.

I don't have the "whites" all cut for the bright log cabin quilt but I just had to make a couple blocks. Oh yeah! I'm going to love this one. Ray just made a comment that this will be finished way before the blue one - no doubt!

Our next, and hopefully last, snowstorm is supposed to happen tomorrow. I'm very close to being ready for the garage sale so I'm thinking a snow day means a sew day!

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Anchors Aweigh and more...

It seems like we were at home most days there for quite a stretch. Then all of a sudden, we were/are on the go almost every day. Ray looked at me a few evenings ago on our way home and said "Are you sure we are retired?". I'm sure but we really get busy some times. That's the reason I was pushing this winter to get so many donation quilts made. I wanted at least 10 done by June and I think this one means there might be 18 in the donation pile! This one might be for a summer baby; I'm also making a girl quilt since we don't know the gender. One of the quilts will be #18 in the donation pile. It's fine if the pile just keeps growing. Who knows what situations will arrive where quilts are needed?. I'll just keep sewing.

This little quilt, Anchors Aweigh, is 43" square.

I used Dream Cotton batting and machine quilted this with a walking foot on my Viking. I used stitch 14 on the A1 card, a wavy line. The stitch length was 1.5 with a width of 6.0. The thread was 50-wt Aurifil #2730, a marine blue. I think you can see the quilting below.


The back is Minkee - I love the rich color.



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I also finished this pair of socks. The yarn is Biscotte, Merino wool with a little nylon, and very soft.

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Last night we were supposed to see Willie Nelson in concert. Sadly the rain, sleet, and ice began and we decided not to go about 2 hours before showtime. We live over an hour from the venue and the weather was supposed to just get worse all evening. Our son, who lives much closer and was going to the concert, was trying to think of someone near him who would could go so I could transfer the tickets to them. I didn't know you could transfer tickets so I was investigating how to do that on Ticketmaster when I found that I could put the tickets up for sale. When we couldn't find anyone that could use them, I posted the tickets for sale. That was at 7PM and the concert started at 8. I found that there were only 8 seats left for sale and I priced our tickets as the cheapest on the main floor. At 7:30, our tickets sold! It was a little easier missing the concert when we got most of our money back. The other 6 tickets hadn't sold as of 7:58 PM so we were quite lucky.

We did have one really nice day in the 60s this past week. I really hope that wasn't our spring! Right now it's snowing and will most of the day. I'm quilting...

Monday, April 9, 2018

Double Cut Layer Cake II

I had a Me and My Sister Design layer cake called Rainy Day by Moda. First I decided to make a quilt with the Double Cut Layer Cake pattern. Then I decided that I could add borders and make two quilts.You can read that whole story here

More about the first quilt, shown below, can be found here.
Double Cut Layer Cake I

This is the second quilt - Double Cut Layer Cake II. 
Double Cut Layer Cake II
I only added one border on this donation quilt that finished at 43" by 52". It has Dream Cotton batting. 

I free-motion quilted this with a carnation motif using 50-wt Aurifil #2000 off-white thread. The thread blended so well that, at times, I really had a difficult time seeing what I was doing. This motif gives great texture.

The back is a soft blue and contains one of the leftover blocks that I separated into the original four pieces. (One of the pieces really blends in in the photo below.) It also contains some of the border fabric.

We woke up to more snow this morning. It is now pretty much gone but only 35 degrees and windy. It's been a good day to work on garage sale stuff for a few hours and then do some quilting.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Too much stuff!

How do we acquire so much stuff???

Years ago I said no more garage sales - never again! Then we replaced our garage last year. There were all kinds of things that needed to move out of there. We couldn't figure out where to donate some of the big things and we don't like to use landfills and we couldn't convince the son that lives nearby to take everything­čśâ. That left a sale. So yes, we are having a garage sale.

I started cleaning closets and more in January. Most of that is done so now we are sorting and marking.  I just want stuff gone - I really have no idea what price to mark. Oh, this is NOT fun! This is what I have marked:


We have a long way to go. Our town garage sale is May 5 and if I work every day until then, I might be ready!

We have these two pictures that my in-laws had. We have no idea where there are from. They are hard to photograph since they are acting like a mirror. They appear to be hand embroidered.

I don't want to get rid of them until I know something about them.


I finally gave up for the day and sandwiched a quilt - THAT was fun!

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